Thursday, October 30, 2014

Developing the Sport Horse Part 3 – LEGS! Common injuries and how we can treat them - Full Article

October 2014
Story by: Dr. Brianne Henderson

Every year riders are plagued with limb injuries to their equine partners. Sometimes this is a small blip in the training schedule, other times it spells the end of a competitive season. In this article we are going to highlight some common injuries and different modalities that can help your horse onto the road to recovery (and a few preventative tips!). At the end of the article, there is a table outlining different treatments to help manage the injuries discussed.

The Suspensory Ligament

The Suspensory Ligament (SL) is effectively a broad elastic cable that runs from the back of the knee down the back of the canon bone and then branches to cradle the fetlock joint. Its purpose is to suspend the fetlock joint and prevent over extension during loading. Essentially, it works like a spring mechanism to absorb the energy as it stretches and then recoils to lift the fetlock back to its normal position.

Over time, micro-damage occurs within the fibres of the ligament and due to the poor blood supply, these micro-tears are more likely to accumulate than heal. Often this is why we see repetitive strain injuries/inflammation to the SL. The impact of foot balance is critical to the health of the SL. A foot with long toe/low heel places increased strain on structures within the foot (navicular bone), the Deep Digital Flexor Tendon and the Suspensory ligament by predisposing to a “toe first” landing. Instead of allowing a gradual absorption of impact through the structures of the heels and up the limb, this movement creates a snapping action on the DDFT and Suspensory ligament. The long-term effect of foot imbalance is associated with chronic heel pain (“toe first”) and also chronic proximal suspensory desmitis. Veterinary Treatment options may include? Shockwave therapy, biological injections...

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State-of-the-Art Imaging Techniques Reviewed - Full Article

By Equine Disease Quarterly
Oct 11, 2014

An appropriate treatment plan for rehabilitation and recovery post-musculoskeletal injury is built upon the foundations of an accurate diagnosis and detailed characterization of the pathology. Radiography and ultrasonography are the cornerstones of the evaluation, but can fall short in the assessment of some conditions. Advanced modalities such as computed tomography (CT), MRI, and nuclear scintigraphy might be beneficial in select cases...

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Heart of the Matter - Full Article

By Jennifer O. Bryant
Oct 22, 2014

A look at the remarkable equine heart and what can go wrong.

With the high rate of heart disease in humans, most of us are aware of our potential for cardiac troubles. But when it comes to our horses, we tend to be less informed.

Horses don’t have human-style “heart attacks.” Actually, the equine heart is a robust organ that’s not overly prone to problems. But when something does go wrong it tends to be front-page news, as in the 2011 death of 2008 Olympic individual gold-medal-winning Canadian jumper, Hickstead, from an aortic rupture.

In this article, two veterinarians well-versed in cardiac events describe the equine heart and what can go wrong...

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Free Online Equine Nutrition Course Offered is again offering their 5-week online equine nutrition course from the University of Edinburgh for free from January 26 to March 2 2015.

This course will cover many aspects of equine nutrition ranging from anatomy and physiology of the gastrointestinal tract to dietary management of horses/ponies affected with nutrition-related disorders. This is course is designed for self-directed study with minimal tutor input, and as such emphasis is placed upon peer discussions of the topics presented in each section of the course. This course is not designed to have a large amount of tutor input as this is an open access course that attracts tens of thousands of participants. However, tutors will endeavour to answer the main queries relating to the understanding of the lecture materials and to provide a summary of the key questions raised in each of the weekly topics and clarification of any misunderstandings.

About the Course
This course is designed to provide knowledge of equine digestion and nutrition for those with an interest in this area. The anatomy and physiology of the equine alimentary canal will be studied to provide students with an understanding of the equine digestive system. Nutrient sources for horses will be discussed, with emphasis placed on the health and welfare issues surrounding the inclusion of various types of feedstuffs in equine diets. Students will also discuss recommendations on rations for horses and ponies performing various activities and should feel better equipped to make judgements on rations for horses and ponies, in health and disease.

To watch the intro video and for more information see:

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Understanding the Horse's Sole - Full Article

Pete Ramey

The sole of the foot is the most abused and misunderstood part of the domestic horse (with the possible exception of its digestive system). I’ve been guilty of it, too. As a horseshoer it always seemed necessary for me to routinely cut the sole at the toe, and in my early days as a barefoot trimmer I thought it was desirable to thin it at the back of the foot. When I began both professions, I was taught to view the sole as an idle passenger; trimming the hoof wall to certain parameters and then trimming or relieving the sole to match. Now I see the sole as the ultimate guide for hoof trimming; keeping the bars and walls 1/16 inch above the natural callused sole plane. (See the "Heel Height" article for exceptions.) When I think back on the past and compare it to my results now, I shudder at the comparison. My own learning curve has been a long one. I hope to shorten it for you, here.

It is a confusing subject, though. It can be difficult to distinguish between healthy sole that should be preserved, false sole that should be removed, shedding sole that needs to stay around as long as possible because the new sole underneath is immature, shedding sole that needs to be removed because fungal infection underneath is eating away at the new sole that is trying to grow, unsupported sole under flared walls that needs to have pressure relief………….. The list goes on, and it seems the more you learn, the less you may understand what needs to be done. Since the sole is the first line of defense between the horse and the ground, its proper management is crucial to soundness. Luckily we have a very reliable guide. The seams between the sole and frog; the collateral grooves, are the most reliable and important guide we have for determining the needs of the foot. A full understanding of their significance and the information they offer will give you “x-ray vision” when you look at every hoof...

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A Simple Method of Conditioning the Endurance Horse

Perseveranceendurancehorses Blog - Full Article

Francois & Laura Seegers, Perseverance Arabian and Endurance Horses

We are frequently asked by people who are interested in taking up endurance, or who have bought a horse from us, how they should prepare their horses for an endurance ride. There are many different ways to condition horses. The good methods have this in common: a slow beginning, a steady build up of distances ridden, and later, gradual increase in training speed. Too fast, too soon, too often, leads inevitably to injury.

We used this simple program ourselves for many years before we began riding our horses without shoes. It’s a straightforward system that we learned more than 20 years back from another experienced endurance rider at a day seminar when we began doing endurance. The principles are much older than modern endurance sport, and don’t change with fashion as they are based on the physiology of the horse. We have taught this method to many riders with good results. It is a method of slowly preparing the novice horse for his first endurance ride, but also for giving the advanced endurance horse a good start after a period off work. There are many more sophisticated training techniques that we won’t discuss in this article. Once a horse has completed this initial program, other techniques can be applied. This simple foundation will only help the other training techniques give better results...

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Water-Soluble Vitamins 101 - Full Article

By Karen Briggs
Oct 4, 2014

Vitamins are tiny organic compounds with a huge impact on the health and well-being of your horse. But how do they function, and why are they important to your horse? Here's what you need to know about the water-soluble vitamins.
Thiamin (Vitamin B1)

Function: Thiamin plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism and in nerve transmission and stimulation...

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fat-Soluble Vitamins 101 - Full Article

By Karen Briggs
Oct 5, 2014

Vitamins are tiny organic compounds with a huge impact on the health and well-being of your horse. But how do they function, and why are they important to your horse? Here's what you need to know about the fat-soluble vitamins. In a future article, we'll take a look at the water-soluble ones.

Vitamin A

Function: Vitamin A, also called retinol, is important for maintaining good vision, particularly at night. It is also important in bone and muscle growth of young horses, in reproduction, and in healthy skin. Research has revealed that vitamin A has a key role in the immune response to infection as well...

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Is It Okay for My Horse to Live by Himself? - Full Article

By Nancy Diehl, VMD, MS
Sep 25, 2014

Q. Is it okay for a horse to live without herdmates or companions?

A. I am going to say that yes, it is okay for a horse to live alone, but with a bunch of caveats.

Horses are social animals. Feral horses live in harems, with a stallion, some mares, and offspring who will later disperse to other harems. Domesticated horses have lost really none of their "natural" behaviors. Nearly all of our domesticated species are highly social animals. That, along with their relative docility, probably contributed to them being good species for domestication...

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Installing Automatic Waterers Blog

by Alayne Blickle
Smart Horse Keeping
24 Sep 2014

September is a great time to get your winter water supply set up before the icy cold weather slips in and causes havoc for us all. A horse drinks 8 to 12 gallons of water per day. Research shows horses prefer water temperatures of about 45-65 degrees Fahrenheit and tend to drink less when water is cold. Keep in mind that research also tells us that a horse cannot get enough moisture by eating snow alone. Decreased water consumption can lead to colic so make every effort to ensure your horses are drinking an adequate amount...

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When in Doubt, Turn Out Blog

Across the Fence
29 Sep 2014

Horses are products of their genetics and the environment we provide for their growth and development. One of the most important choices we make when managing horses during the first few years of their life is whether they are stabled or turned out, and for how long. Different types of exercise are necessary to stimulate adaptation of the different locomotor musculoskeletal tissues (bone, articular cartilage, muscle, ligament, and tendon), and these tissues are most responsive at different ages. Therefore, young horses need a sufficient amount of appropriate types of exercise at the right times in their lives to fulfill their athletic potential and reduce their risk of injury.

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Friday, October 10, 2014

It’s Slobber Season for Horses! - Full Article

By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · September 16, 2014

As you walk out into the pasture to catch your horse, you notice that the clover in the field is really growing well. You know that horses love clover, and it’s clear that there is plenty of the trefoil-leaved plant for Blaze to nibble.

You snap the lead shank on his halter, and Blaze reaches for the treat you always bring him. He opens his mouth and suddenly your carrot-bearing hand is drenched with what seems like an ocean of equine saliva. Blaze crunches happily away on his carrot as you lead him toward the barn, still wiping strings of drool off your hand and wrist. What’s going on?...

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Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Magnetic Blankets' Impacts on Horses Studied - Full Article

By Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA
Sep 6, 2014

If you find yourself attracted to the idea of a magnetic blanket for your horse, you might want to consider some opposing viewpoints: Swedish researchers recently found that magnets in blankets don’t have quite the impact on blood flow that some manufacturers might claim.

“An ordinary blanket probably increases blood flow just as much as a magnetic one does,” said Anna Edner, PhD, of the Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science in the University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, Sweden...

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Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Study: Low-Dose Omeprazole and Gastric Ulcers - Full Article

By Christa Lesté-Lasserre, MA
Sep 22, 2014

If you’ve ever had to deal with equine gastric ulcers, you—and your wallet—will likely be happy that researchers have learned that a much lower dose of one omeprazole formulation could be just as effective in treating the condition as the standard dose...

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Understanding Your Horse's 'Engine' During Exercise - Full Article

By Erica Larson, News Editor
Sep 10, 2014

The exhilaration of a gallop through a field might make your heart race, but you're not alone: Your horse's heart is working hard to power every stride he takes. Along with his respiratory system, a horse's cardiovascular system serves as the engine he needs to perform everything from day-to-day activities to high-level athletic pursuits. But both systems have limits, and it's important to understand them.

Anna M. Firshman, BVSc, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, ACVSMR, an associate clinical professor at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, reviewed how the horse's cardiovascular and respiratory systems function during exercise at the 2014 American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Forum, held June 4-7 in Nashville, Tennessee...

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